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Museum ready for new exhibits

It’s beginning to look a lot like spring — at least inside the Becker County Museum, which will be starting its spring and summer schedule next week.

“We will be open on Saturdays again, starting April 1,” says museum director Amy Degerstrom.

The museum’s regular  hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

That will give area residents even more opportunities to view the two traveling exhibits that will be coming to the museum next month.

The first to visit Detroit Lakes will be the “Storyland” children’s exhibit, which will have its grand opening on Sunday, April 7, with an open house from 1 to 3 p.m.

“The Chamber will have a ribbon cutting, and ‘Curious George’ will be visiting from the library,” said Degerstrom. “We’ll have ‘kid friendly’ snacks, and some guest story readers.”

“Storyland” is a traveling exhibit of the Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul, which “brings to life” four beloved children’s tales with a series of interactive displays, which will be featured in the museum’s new Marly Rislund Traveling Exhibit Gallery through the end of May.

As a local adaptation of the exhibit, the stories featured in Detroit Lakes will be translated into the Ojibwe language, and one of the featured stories will be an authentic Ojibwe tale, “How the Turtle Got Its Shell.”

The Detroit Lakes Public Library will also be hosting a special Storytime session at the county museum every Tuesday through May 21, starting at 6 p.m., said Degerstrom.

On those days, all the museum exhibits will be open for public viewing until 7 p.m., she added.

Also in conjunction with the “Storyland” exhibit, the local museum will also be featuring various antique toys and other kid-friendly items from its own collection.

Children will also have an opportunity to participate in a special “Where’s Spot” scavenger hunt; “Where’s Spot” is one of the featured children’s stories in the exhibit, Degerstrom explained.

“We will also be using this exhibit to focus our Museum Day in May on family and children’s activities,” said Degerstrom.

The third annual Museum Day is set to take place on Sunday, May 5 from 12 to 4 p.m., and will include clowns, cookie decorating, face painting, horse and buggy rides and more.

But “Storyland” is not the only traveling exhibit coming to the Becker County Museum this month, Degerstrom noted.

The Minnesota Historical Society will be bringing its “Minnesota Disasters” exhibit to the museum’s lower level, starting on April 20.

“Minnesota Disasters” is part of the MHS “Exhibits to Go” series, Degerstrom said. It focuses on the various natural disasters that have devastated the state during its long history, such as tornadoes, floods, blizzards and fires.

“We’re working with the Becker County Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA) to create a local exhibit about aquatic invasive species (AIS) in conjunction with that,” Degerstrom said, noting that AIS is a form of natural disaster that is currently threatening lakes and rivers throughout the state, including Becker County.

“Someone from the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) will also be here on Museum Day to demonstrate how to inspect boats for AIS and clean your watercraft so they don’t spread it to our lakes and rivers,” Degerstrom said, noting that the demonstration will be particularly timely because it takes place the weekend before the state fishing opener.

“We’ll also have other stories and pictures of natural and manmade disasters that have occurred in Becker County,” she added, such as the 1941 blizzard, the 1953 blizzard that ripped through the Lake Park area, and the 1914 fire that devastated downtown Detroit Lakes.

“’Minnesota Disasters’ will be on display in the museum’s lower level until June 9,” Degerstrom said.

As always, all of the museum’s exhibits are free and open to the public, though “all donations are accepted and appreciated,” she added.

The Becker County Historical Society & Museum is located at 714 Summit Ave., next door to the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center.

More information is also available online at the museum’s website,, or by phone at 218-847-2938.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454